WordPress out-of-the-box (freshly installed) is like a tablet or cellphone that you just bought. It’s ok but it hardly does everything you will need it to do. Devices need apps to make them useful. WP needs plugins.
Sooner or later you’re going to ask, “Is there a plugin for that?”
That’s the question WP users ask most often. And most often, there is!!
Many plugins are like bridges between your site and a third party vendor such as MailChimp, Typekit or Optin Monster. This allows your site to talk to other sites that provide cool backend functionaly which makes your site more useful, productive and engaging.
With over 40,000 plugins (mostly free) to choose from you can get lost so let me give you some advice.
Knowing which plugin to use for the tasks you’ll need to perform to create a successful site is a big deal. Many of the plugins I list here I have used for various projects. Just tap on a subject to see the plugins list.
- No matter what WP site you’re working you’ll want these onbaord. These are not the sexiest plugins but boy are they useful!!
Plugin Description Comment Akismet Filters spammy comments so you’ll never see them. A must if your going to blog or have a contact form on your site. Jetpack Super charge your site with a package of over 20 plugins. A monster of a plugin that requires a wordpress.com account. BackWPup Backs up your site especially the all important Database. Might be the most important WP plugin. If you don’t back up your DB I can’t help you.Alternative: ValutPress Broken Link Checker Automatically scans your site for busted up links. Redirection Make and manage URL redirects without having to know how to edit an .htaccess file. One way to use this plugin is to avodie the dreaded “Page Not Found 404 Error.” Hide Title Easy way to remove the title of your page or post. SmushIt Shrinks image file sizes down to speed site performance without sacrificing image quality. Has be to the best named plugin. WP-Cache.com Easy to use plugin to speed performance. The grand daddy of this type of plugin is WP-Cache. ManageWP Great way to manage multiple WP sites. You’ll need to set up an accountwith managewp.com.
- A few plugins to help you practice Safe WordPress.
Plugin Description Comment Limit Login Attempts Protect your site from an authorized login. Lockdown WP Admin Allows you to change the WP admin login page to a URL you set up. Password Protected Set up a password to prevent access to your site while in development No Longer In Directory This plugin lets you know if any of your plugins no longer exists in the wordpess.com directory. Could be an indication that a plugin is out of date and no longer as secure as it should be.
- Migration involves the export and import of your database and your WP files. The most reliable way to do this is not with a plugin but by using phpMyadmin and an FTP application.
Duplicator is the best plugin that yields the most complete migration.
Plugin Description Comment Duplicator Createes a “package” which i sued to move the site to new domain and/or new host. Easy and speedy to use but you need to know how to create a database. WordPress Importer Easiest one of all but does an incomplete job. See Tools > Export is completed. But it requires re-installation of theme, plugins and all of your settings. Some parts of your datbase wil not be transfer. All In One Migration UpdraftPlus VelvetBlues
- Add sliders, lightboxes and more. Ideal ways to work with images, videos and podcasts.
Plugin Description Comment Easy FancyBox Easy to use overlay for images, videos and more. Meta Slider Adds slide shows to your pages. The free version has a lot of good options. All In One Favicon Puts a tiny image in a browser’s tab. Adds a touch of professionalism to your site. YouTube Channel Gallery
- These plugins will enhance the User Interface and give your users a better interactive experience.
Plugin Description Comment Page Peel Produces an upper right corner peak and access to an importnat secondary page. Caution: This plugin is pwered by Flash so it won’t work on most mobile devices. Easy Modal Add a button to pen a Modal overlay to a page The developer is a nice guy.
- Integrate your content with the social nets by linking and sharinng.
Plugin Description Comment Share Buttons by Lockerz / AddToAny Integrates any page or post with the social networks. One of my favorites. Have demonstarted in many times in classes and wbinars. Social Marketing Social sites are automatically updated when you publish new WP posts. Social Slider Allows user to easily connect with your social network pages. WP Twitter Feed Streams your twitter feed right into your WP site. Plugin Description Comment Google Analytics Site metrics – pages views, bounce rates, demogrpahcis, more. An industry standard that can be overwheling.Alternative: Jetpack’s Site Stats WP SEO By Yoast The most comprehensive and widely used SEO plugin you will ever need. All In One SEO Pack Optimizing your pages for search made easier. A kinder, genler SEO plugin. Plugin Description Comment WordPress Calls to Action Great way to add any type of CTA button to your pages. WordPress Landing Pages Create landing pages then monitor and improve conversion rates.. WordPress Leads Track visitor activity, capture and manage incoming leads, and send collected emails to your email service provider. Optin Monster Powerful ways to turn visitors into customers and subscribers via email capture. Gravity Forms Create advanced forms and mange data.
- Great ways to get and stay connected with your audience.
Plugin Description Comment Contact Form Not a lot of options but simple to use. Contact Form 7 Easy way to set up forms and have data sent to you by email. Contact Form by ContactMe Highly customizable contact forms which provides complete customer management communications. MailChimp List Subscribe Form Start a newsletter subscription service using MailChimp. Plugin Description Comment Woocommerce A fully featured e-commerce plugin that does it all – display and manage inventory, cart, checkout and payment gateway options. Easy Digital Download When what you are selling is in digital format this is the plugin to sue. Plugin Description Comment Reply Me Simple Comment Editing
- These add robustness (is that a word?) when you create pages and posts.
Plugin Description Comment TablePress Easy way to disaply rows and columns in your content. Edit Flow Mage ediorial process. Schedule, review and approve posts. Ideal for collobrative environment.
- f you’re working with Code these plugins are a big help.
Plugin Description Comment Preserved HTML Editor Markup Keeps HTML code intact in the HTML Editor WP Unformatted A must if you are using the HTML editor. Include Me In That Include external html file into a page or post
- I didn’t know how to classify these so I threw them all in a big stew.
Plugin Description Comment AudioPlayer Audio Player plugin that is embedded into pages or posts. Cusotm Post Type UI Admin panel for creating custom post types and custom taxonomies. Gives you the abilit to create more than one blog for your site. Fonts Adds Font Family and Font Size options to Post and Page Editors. WP Google Fonts Choose from over 500 fonts the fonts you want to use for your site. Ultimate Tiny MCE Editor Adds additional tools to your page and post editor. JQuery Drop Down Menu Use when a theme does not support drop down menus. Logi Logo Displays your logo in the login page. bbPress Make a forum witth a plugin created by many WP developers. I used it for the WP Help Forum on this site. PollDaddy Create and manage PollDaddy polls and ratings in WP. Single Post Template Allows for the use of post templates much like the way page templates are used. Zopim Live Chat Full featured live chat plugin.